Mary Meeker is a now legendary venture capitalist who annually presents the year’s most essential online statistics and trends in her famous Internet Trends Report. The report, while citing key data points – growth in certain areas of internet use, online shopping trends, and indicators of the future of the workplace – consists of almost 300 slides of data. It is highly oriented around the US, but there is still a lot to take from it that applies to a global audience.
To start, we see that people are still continuing to increase the amount of time they spend online which of course correlates with the overall growth in digital media consumption and increased ad costs. Roughly 50% of the world (about 3.6 billion people) now have some access to the internet and the average adult spends about 6 hours per day with a digital device.
The presentation was released at the end of May – here are a few take-aways on the e-commerce side:
Glossier just opened up their international online shop and now offer deliveries to Sweden, which is probably why it’s been on every influencer’s lips (pun intended). I’m still not interested in beauty products, but I do love pastels, puns and cute iconography. And I love when high integrity brands created by strong women get some well-deserved hype. Kudos, Emily Weiss!
Browsing experience gets 5 out of 5 quirky emojis: 🔮.
Analytics has always been a challenge for most digital marketers. It can be overwhelming and, sometimes confusing to read no matter how data-savvy your are. It’s not unusual to hear about digital marketers that don’t even report back their clients’ analytics because they’re not sure where to start. Or even more common – present it in a way so that you can make crucial business decisions on it.
This is a two-way problem: first you need to know what you are measuring (and why) and make sure that it is set up correctly. But the bigger part is usually being able to navigate through in the ‘information-overload’ any digital analysis come with. Understanding and interpreting the data that you pull is key for succeeding in any digital business – especially in e-commerce.
But Google is your friend and they on adding tools and plugins to their magic box. One of the latest ones that I have come to use frequently is Google Data Studio – an integrated tool for visualising data and creating informative reports and dashboards that are easy to read, easy to share, and fully customisable. Reporting results is often time-consuming, especially if you work in an agency and manage multiple clients. It often takes manual steps to build a report – which now becomes much more automated and frees up time to focus on the analysis of the results, rather than the presentation. Working client based, this is one of the most efficient tools I have come across this far since I can create dynamic but customised reports and follow them in real-time, if I want to. The reports are easy to read, easy to share and even customisable to each of your clients. You can select how you want to present the data — bar graphs, charts, line graphs and so on. You can even change fonts and colors and brand the reports with your logo.
Google Data Studio natively integrates with AdWords, Analytics, YouTube and other data sources. But another important thing to mention is that it does not only allow you to pull data from any Google source associated with your account. Basically, any reporting information you have on a Google Sheet can be pulled into Google Data Studio — and your reports – including Facebook data.
Insert heart-eye emoji: 😍
New year, new forecast. Here’s a list of e-commerce trends that I see for 2017. Ecommerce is the fastest growing industries in the world, constantly changing and evolving with new technology and changes in consumer behaviour. But this year, I feel like trends might not be the right term as we’ve seen and heard it all before. But needless to say, it’s as important as ever.
“Mobile” has been on these lists for, what, four years now? But repetition doesn’t mean it is not as valid, because mobile keeps getting bigger. Mobile traffic is now bigger than desktop on the web. Google’s mobile-first-index is live. You not only need an optimized “mobile experience”, you need to put mobile first. Study after study show that mobile is attracting more ecommerce traffic than ever before. Yet, smartphone conversion still lags behind that of desktop. Up until now, most of the ecommerce activity on mobiles can be seen to be “pre-shopping” – that is discovery and browsing. According to Google, 60 percent of online conversions start on one device and end on another. Which means mobile, while perhaps not the leader in terms of conversion, often plays a critical role in the first step of your customer’s journey.
Personalisation & Data.
With more data available, this allows businesses to tailor advertisements, content, and specific products to particular customers. The amount of data available increasingly allows content, ads, and products to be shown to the right people at the right time. What’s new? Customers have been exposed to personalised experiences from services like Netflix and Amazon. Now we have come to expect the same level of personalisation in our online shopping experience. We see targeted product reviews and recommendations, targeted marketing and re-marketing gathered from behavioural data. For example, personalised deals on popular products that a specific customers buy often, or combinations of targeted ads and re-marketing on product level.
Free shipping, timing & fast delivery.
We see higher demands on delivery and returns in general, especially when it comes to time and fees. Delivery must be fast, cheap and easy – now including the return process. There’s a big increase in fast shipping methods, like same day deliveries, home delivery and services like Urbit. 29% of consumers would be willing to pay more for same-day delivery. 44% of consumers abandon their shopping carts if the delivery is too expensive. Free shipping is so important that 58% of shoppers are willing to add more items to cart to qualify for free delivery and 83% are willing to wait longer for the items to arrive to their homes. The customers almost always expect free shipping and complimentary return shipping – but most importantly no hidden fees.
The post-purchase experience.
Navar recently posted this study on shopping preferences, saying that almost half of online customers worry about their packages being damaged in transit, and an almost equal percentage (42%) don’t believe their packages will be delivered on time. While many focus on personalisation and optimizing the actual purchase journey, they shouldn’t forget the overall customer experience. According to this study, a major part lies within the post-purchase experience and the actual customer interaction:
“When asked what information would make them more satisfied with a purchase, 61% of people said ‘a simple thank you’ matters most, more so than including personalized recommendations, information on how to use the product better, or examples of how others are using the product.”
The end of Black Friday.
Simple as that, it’s now Cyber November, and it’s all online. We’ve seen it this past year, and we’re likely to see it again in 2017: the lines between Black Friday and Cyber Monday are getting blurry, and all shopping holidays move online.
In the past couple of months I’ve been involved in several different on page optimization projects with my clients and one thing is for sure – SEO is as important as ever. But it’s as ever-changing as always. What does SEO even mean? Not the abbreviation itself but its purpose for our business and for our users. The bottom line will always be this (borrowed from MOZ):
What we are trying to do is fulfill the searcher’s goal and satisfy their intent. So there’s an intent behind every search query. I’m seeking some information. I’m seeking to accomplish a task. Oftentimes, that initial intent is different from the final goal that someone might have.
How you get there is the challenge. But no worries – I’ve collected s short (but good) list to catch up on the changes of SEO in 2016 to get you back on track:
I’ve mentioned venture capitalist Mary Meeker before and now it’s time again. Her annual presentation covering internet growth, digital trends and marketing was released the other day and here is what I’m taking with me:
Here’s the full PDF. What do you think?
Speaking of digital trends, I just came across this e-commerce marketing guide from Veeqo. They’ve summarized eight strategies for paid online channels for 2016 that you can use for your online business. Some may work perfect for you, other won’t – take a little time to think what’s relevant for you and make it count.
Read the post What are the best marketing options in 2016 and what can I do? here!
This year has not started out strong blog wise for, but I though I’d post a few thoughts on what’s ahead for 2016. In short, we will see much more money invested in digital marketing. That means all areas: Search, Mobile, Social, Display and Video. This is just a few areas that I think will be most important. Brief, but important – the ones that have the biggest impact on your online business. Now’s the time to think about how this can integrated into the digital marketing strategies, instead of doing it halfway through 2016.
Mobile’s continued dominance over desktop
The dominance of mobile traffic is now a fact. In 2016, we’ll see a continued strong growth in mobile use (which Mary Meeker’s pointed our in the annual mobile trends round-up). To no surprise, the use of mobile marketing will continue to be one of key trends to follow in 2016.
Creating personalized content
The only way to make consumers engage and interact with your content is solution based personalization. Making this effort, you can expect an increase of sales, higher interaction (time spent on page) and more happy customers. The key is that you take the time to research your consumers’ needs. This may well begin by drawing out buyer profiles and knowing consumer demographics, and behavioral preferences. One size does not fit all.
Understanding micro targeting
Targeting niche audience sizes and making use of data led advertising tools bringing in more effective results from campaigns. Targeting has evolved a lot in 2015, so it comes as no surprise that businesses are making targeting strategies more elaborately than ever. Speaking of personalization, I mean.
Being global, not local
You competition is no longer just local. Most online businesses sell their goods world-wide just a click away. You need to optimize for your key markets, find your customers where they are and look for new, innovative solutions to satisfy their needs. Wherever they are. 2016 is not the year to think small because no one else is.
Paying for Social
We might still think that our personal, social networks are just that – personal. But this is no longer the case. Brands and companies is already treating Facebook and Twitter like the great paid channels that they have evolved into, finding their customers where they interact with each other and share their personal interest and preferences. Targeting them has never been easier – “social” will now become an even larger piece of the bought digital budget.
Increasing digital marketing budgets
Over the past few years online marketing has grown more and more competitive, a trend that will continue in 2016. Companies are expected to spend $10 billion more on all areas of digital marketing than they did in 2015.
This season is actually the first I’ve tried doing online marketing campaigns for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was fun, so I thought I’d share my results. I did a few different campaigns for different objectives, working especially with email marketing and Google’s (text) Ads. One of them was a simple 3 for 2 discount on all products with a unique promo code.
And the results? I was surprised to see that the conversion rate increased by 1.5%. So did the traffic. And the revenue. We barely lost any profits since the offer just topped of our regular multi-buy offer (no scam, obviously). The weekly turnover doubled. First, for the week ending with Black Friday. Then, the week starting Cyber Monday. Why? Because we managed to reach both old and new customers with an offer just as good for both segments. We reached our loyal customers who likes our stuff and wants more, we reached spontaneous shoppers who like a good deal and we caught the ones who missed out on Black Friday, and have them come back for Cyber Monday. Or for more, it seems. Because the very best part is that the traffic and sales continue to increase steadily. Did I mention that these two days were part of a holiday email marketing series? This means that we keep offering good news and offers. So far so good.
Here’s a very brief list of what I did:
Integrated both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a series of holiday newsletters (that was of coursed cross-posted in all social media) and scheduled them for 23.59. I also set up reminder automations for unpoens (a bit risky, but worth it if you’re usually non-spammy)
Separate, branded campaigns promoting the offers and adding a text add-on on all campaigns scheduled only for Black Friday Cyber Monday.
Overlay/pop-up with the offer for all new visitors, not coming from any of the sources above and offering them even better deals if they sign up for newsletter.
Even if you don’t have a big budget, I’d definitely suggest to spend it on limited offers like these. They drive traffic and they convert like crazy. We’ve had similar deals before – we even have a permanent multi-buy offer that’s pretty generous to begin with. But people buy, because they want to buy. And they want to wait until Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, then Cyber November. That’s what marketing does. Another post of how to keep (and care for) your customers after the holidays is coming up.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two typically american shopping holidays we’ve started to adapting to internationally. Black Friday is always the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving, and is sort of the official start to the Christmas Shopping Season (although we know that that’s already started…). Black Friday started way back in 1960’s, but is now kicking it online too with just as crazy sales and offers, getting crazier each season. In 2015, it’s predicted to be the be the biggest day of spending on the internet — ever.
There’s also Cyber Monday, Black Friday’s shopping companion, which is the Monday that follows Black Friday. The two have started blended together and creating Black November – a month filled of crazy pre-Black Friday shopping deals. Needless to say, these two shopping holidays are a great opportunity for any business to, well, make money. And when it comes to holiday shopping, it’s all about the deals. The good news for shoppers is that those deals are being offered earlier and earlier. The search – we know – starts online:
The top questions people were asking about Black Friday on Google in 2014:
What time do stores open on Black Friday
What time does Black Friday start
When does Black Friday end
What to buy on Black Friday
Source: Google data, November 2014.
With Black Friday now just a day away, you need to have everything in place. There’s really no reason to wait for Friday to take care of your online holiday shopping. Don’t know where to start? Look at Shopify’s excellent 26 Point Checklist!